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News posted on Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What consumers want: premium and local
Marketers need to take on new consumer trends and adapt to a changing market, according to a new Wine Intelligence study released today. The Wine Intelligence Global Consumer Trends report has spotted nine trends among alcohol consumers, each with different implications for the drinks industry. “We’re focusing on what’s happening already, sometimes at the fringes of consumer behaviour, sometimes nearer the mainstream,” explains Lulie Halstead, Wine Intelligence chief executive offier. Although the mass market appears to be shifting towards globalisation, Halstead says individuals are seeing the value in local products.

Melbourne Food and Wine Legends announced
The 2015 Melbourne Food and Wine (MFW) Legends were announced yesterday with six of Victoria’s hard-working movers and shakers welcomed into the program by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. Held at the Crown Towers, the ‘hall of fame’ program pays tribute to leaders, ground breakers and visionaries of the state’s food and wine industry. Pat Carmody, Craiglee Vineyard owner was the only winemaker to be inducted. Carmody was joined by Anne O’Donovan, publisher and founder of The Age Good Food Guide and Miranda Sharp, founder of the Melbourne Farmers’ Markets.

Tasmanian wine producers struggle to meet international demand
Tasmanian wine producers say they are struggling to meet the booming international demand for Tasmanian wine, particularly the sparkling varieties. The state's 2015 vintage harvest is under way, and grapes used in the sparkling varieties are some of the first to be picked. Darren Brown from Puddleduck Vineyard said it was one of the busiest times of the year for winemakers. "Today we're actually harvesting fruit for sparkling wine, and it's looking like a pretty good start to the season.”

Treasury mulls sale of Australian bottling and winery processing facilities
Treasury Wine Estate is considering selling some of its wine processing infrastructure in Australia to free up resources to invest in its brands. Michael Clarke, chief executive, said it was not necessary to own the bottling and winery processing infrastructure facilities that lie idle for much of the year, and the company was considering the option of a sale and leaseback of these assets. It is one of a range of options being considered by the company to liberate funds that can be invested in brands or in acquisitions that will deliver better returns, he said.

Jacob's Creek aces Aus Open sponsorship
Jacob's Creek is celebrating the success of its sixth year as associate sponsor of the Australian Open in Melbourne. This year's Open was the basis for the global launch of the Jacob's Creek Made By film series, which featured world number one and eventual champion Novak Djokovic. As well as the films, which attracted over 2.4 million local views, Jacob's Creek had on-court signage, a wine bar on-site and hosted hundreds of guests at its sponsor's suite. Julien Hemard, Pernod Ricard Australia managing director said, "The 'Made By' campaign is highlighting the provenance of Jacob's Creek.”

Grape plantings soar
The New Zealand area planted in wine grapes has soared by 100 per cent in the last 12 years, according to Statistics New Zealand. Between 2002 and June 2014, the area of land planted in grapes jumped from 17,300 to 34,130 hectares. Statistics were also released for the area planted in apples, cherries, blackcurrants, avocados and kiwifruit over the same period. Cherry, blackcurrant and avocado plantings increased slightly, from 550 to 610 ha (cherries), 1310 to 1510 ha (blackcurrants) and 3110 to 3880 (avocados).

Morton Estate vineyard bought by Lion
The vineyard associated with well-known wine label Morton Estate has been snapped up by Lion Beer, Spirits and Wines' New Zealand arm. The deal has been given approval by the Overseas Investment Office to buy 41.25ha of land on Rapaura Rd in Marlborough for $6.775 million. Reasons given for the permission included increased exports. The vendor was Katikati-based company The Wine Portfolio, owned by Canadian John Coney. Fiona MacDiarmid, marketing manager, said the Morton Estate brand had been sold to Lion last year but permission was needed to sell its Stone Creek vineyard as well.

TescoGate: Retailer urges staff to report misconduct as it launches new code of conduct
Tesco has launched a new code of conduct for staff, according to Harpers’ sister title The Grocer. The move comes in a bid to avoid a repetition of the behaviour that led Tesco to report a 263m black hole in its finances, which resulted in a number of high profile staff being suspended. Dave Lewis, chief executive officer, told staff they must speak up if they suspect misconduct in relation to its suppliers, and said he wanted them to raise any concerns they might have.

Grape harvesters win $163k in unpaid wages
A contractor for a top Californian winery has been ordered to pay grape harvesters more than $163,000 after he failed to pay wages for three weeks during last year’s harvest. A total of 59 migrant workers went unpaid by Manuel Quezada, of Orland, while working at the Roederer Estate during last year’s grape harvest in Mendocino County, where he has provided work crews for the past 10 years, according the US Department of Labor. Investigators also cited Quezada for violations including not paying employees at least biweekly or semimonthly.

In France, pesticides get in way of natural wines
TOURS, France — The task ahead of me was a two-day tasting marathon of wines with a welter of confusing labels: natural, organic, organic practice and biodynamic. But for Jean Bardet, a semiretired chef with two Michelin stars to his name, there was little confusion about the worthiness of such bottles. "You have all these young people with rings in their noses who don’t know wine and say, ‘If it’s organic, it’s better,’ ” said Mr. Bardet, an expert on Loire Valley wines. “That’s crazy. Either wine gives pleasure and happiness or it does not. It’s all about taste.”

Sauvignon Blanc named UK's favourite wine
A new survey of 400,000 people found the grape comes top in every British town, city and county - except Berkshire. Find our recommendations for the best of the bunch here. We were supposed to have fallen out of love with it, but Sauvignon Blanc is back in fashion, according to a new poll. The study surveyed the sales data at Laithwaites Wine from over 400,000 customers and found that we are a nation of Sauvignon Blanc fiends. The gooseberry flavoured grape came out on top, with Sauvignon Blanc named as the most beloved wine in every British town, city and county.

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